The Amazing Race: They Thought Godzilla Was Walking Down the Street (season premiere)
by Jackie Schnoop, posted Sep 28th 2009 12:38AM
(S15E01) In this single two-hour season premiere, we were reminded why The Amazing Race keeps snapping up those Emmy Awards for the best reality show on television. We're talking quality teams -- no Jerry Springer fans here! We're talking the adrenalin rush that viewers get just sitting on couches watching the show. We're talking a glimpse into other lands, cultures, and people we might never get the chance to experience in our own lives. We're talking simply amazing.
In this season premiere, there was one team eliminated before the race even left the starting line. That, of course, solved the problem of twelve teams when we usually have eleven. I had scouted out the teams on the CBS show website prior to the season and wasn't really upset with the team that got the boot (Eric and Lisa). As vegans, watching them in a cultural food roadblock might be interesting, but I had no emotional attachment. I do think it's a shame that folks tried so hard to get on the show only to be eliminated before it started.
But then the action started as the teams headed off to Tokyo and I forgot all about them. I'm enjoying this cast of racers for the most part. About the only one who's really irked me so far is Lance of Lance and Keri. What an overbearing obnoxious lout of a lawyer! Alas, they're not doing so badly so far.
The Japanese game show roadblock was a hoot! I never could have done it myself. I'm touchy with my sushi and just don't do wasabi at all. I pity the racers who had to do the wasabi twice. The roadblock brought about all the thoughts I've had and bits I've seen of Japanese game shows. Well done! The leading of the visored-people was fun to watch, as well. It always looks like the locals in the different countries enjoy their roles even more than the racers.
We already have deception gone bad going on. The female poker player team (Maria and Tiffany) lied to everyone, telling them they worked for a non-profit organization helping the homeless. Now, I wouldn't recognize the world champ poker player, but someone in an airport did -- busted! The gay brother team (Dan and Sam) are flirting with the girls and playing it straight, although a few folks seem to be onto them. You can't hide Harlem Globetrotters, though. They kind of stand out in a crowd.
I was pleased that the first leg was a non-elimination, as it gives us a chance to know the teams a bit more. Maria and Tiffany had some spats, but they made it through the speed bump and lasted after their non-elimination finish in the first leg.
From Tokyo, it was off to a very wet Vietnam. Loading mud around trees and duck-herding, eh? We don't do those things in New Jersey. Or, at least, I've never been asked to do them. The pressure is already getting to the teams and there's a bit more quibbling with some. But, for the most part, I think I'm going to enjoy this cast.
Right now, my early running favorites are Zev and Justin -- the guy with Asperger's Syndrome and his best buddy. They're refreshing and different. I think Zev is going to have real challenges down the road, but he's doing excellent so far. It was so touching that he gave his jacket to a local who needed it more.
My runner-up favorites are the Globetrotters -- Flight Time and Big Easy. Maybe it's the music, I don't know. But these two are laid-back, experienced travelers, and seem to be in the race as much for fun as for the win. As an older person (not elderly, mind you), I'm pleased the older team, Ron and Marcy, are doing fairly well. Of the younger couples, I'm enjoying both the Cheyne/Megan and Mika/Canaan teams, even though I have trouble thinking of Canaan as anything other than a town in Connecticut.
The second leg was indeed an elimination leg. We lost Jessica and Garrett. Oh, well. I wasn't all that emotionally involved with them anyway. I find all of the couples "testing the relationship" a bit tiring. I would have preferred that Lance and Keri get the boot because he's just so slimy mean.
One thing I noticed this season is that the first place leg finish prizes seem a bit cheaper. The first leg, Megan and Cheyne won a trip to Vail and Aspen. What? No exotic foreign country? On the second leg, first place finishers Gary and Matt (father and son) each won a kayak. It better be a fancy-schmancy kayak! What's up with that?
So, have we got ourselves a good start to the season? I think so. Your thoughts? Does anyone like Lance?
[Watch episodes and clips of The Amazing Race over at SlashControl.]
|Maria and Tiffany||21 (5.0%)|
|Zev and Justin||134 (31.8%)|
|Ron and Marcy||4 (0.9%)|
|Flight Time and Big Easy||117 (27.7%)|
|Cheyne and Megan||28 (6.6%)|
|Dan and Sam||61 (14.5%)|
|Lance and Keri||3 (0.7%)|
|Brian and Ericka||15 (3.6%)|
|Mika and Canaan||19 (4.5%)|
|Gary and Matt||20 (4.7%)|